Classic Coke Bottle

Classic coke bottle. Source
The shapely contoured bottle patented by the Coca Cola Company in 1916 is a 20th century icon, recognized all over the world. Over the decades it has changed shape a little here and there but retained the basic contoured form, with the vertical ridges for easy gripping. In 1997 a contour can was introduced by Coca Cola but was never widely released.

Coke was first bottled back in 1900, at the initiative of three entrepreneurial attorneys who secured the US bottling rights for the syrupy brown liquid that was proving to be such a hit at the soda fountains.

The first coke bottle was a straight-sided affair that resembled a medicinal bottle but according to the company's website, the bottlers were concerned that he common shape would be too easily 'confused with imitators'. They needed something distinctively coke. Glass manufacturers were asked to submit ideas for an alternative shape and glass designer Earl R Dean from the the Root Bottling Company from Indiana and apparently inspired by the shape of a cocoa pod, came up with the radical new shape that is now so familiar. For his efforts, Dean was offered the choice of a life-time job at the Root company or a $500 bonus. Sensibly, he chose the latter.

Original design drawing for the Coke 'contour' bottle by Earl R Dean. Source

The Reptilian Brain
The trademark bottle was a huge success, partly because it was instantly recognizable as belonging to Coca Cola but why did the coke drinking public find the shape so appealing? Could it have something to do with our reptilian brain?

According to NeuroMarketers (those canny ad men who use brain science to reach deep  into the desires and wishes of the consuming public) the brain can be divided into three basic parts:
Human - the highly developed, most recent part of the brain, housing the cortex and responsible for such "human" as logic, reason, learning, rational thought and personality.
Mammalian - the 'limbic', middle part of the brain dealing with memory, emotion, moods and hormones.
Reptilian - this is most ancient part of the brain that controls basic survival and imperatives like breathing, hunger, thirst, the avoidance of danger, flight or fight and general instinctive behaviour. Also know as the R complex.
It's believed the ancient reptilian brain rules when it comes to  those quick decision making responses to advertising -overriding the 'logic and reason' part nearly every time. This is because the reptilian brain operates on a kind of auto-pilot, responding to sensory stimuli and triggering an unconscious emotional response. It's also believed to be the the part responsible for addiction and may explain help explain why some people continue to engage in dangerous drug taking, even when they know rationally, it will have negative effects.

Anyhow, back to the classic coke bottle, which has remained in production for almost a hundred years.  The softly rounded form of the glass has a sensual, organic, almost womanly look and feel to it - it can be held and caressed...fondled even, in a way a big old plastic bottle or aluminium can can't. It's sexier.